Worldwide, the number of people looking to work with a leadership coach has risen considerably in recent years. From improving workplace performance and motivation to enhancing communication amongst teams and creating an inclusive workplace, it’s clear to see why.
When finding a leadership coach, most people – including yourself – often take to search engines such as Google or social media platforms such as LinkedIn. Usually, searches lead to organisations – such as The Leadership Coaches – who are highly accredited and offer a number of coaching services.
But finding a leadership coach goes beyond searching for a coach and arranging a set number of sessions. Instead, finding a coach means identifying a coach with whom:
You can develop strong trust and rapport and create an environment in which you feel fully safe to disclose your true thoughts and feelings.
You can explore your purpose and values and ensure your plans align with the things that matter to you.
You can self-reflect and gain insights into your strengths and challenges.
You can tie together your objectives with those you wish to achieve in your organisation.
You can explore your potential and what you consider your limitations.
Being able to hold yourself to account to a trusted partner who wants you to succeed and won’t just flatter you with insincere praise.
You can learn and evolve your thinking through the coach using new strategies and encouraging dynamic ways of looking at challenges and ways to overcome them.
Our Tips For Finding a Leadership Coach
If you’re looking to work with a coach, we share some helpful tips for finding a leadership coach below.
Understand Your Needs
Before you start your search for a leadership coach, it’s important to understand your needs. When thinking about your needs, you may like to consider asking yourself the following questions:
Am I seeking coaching because I’m ready for my next ambitious challenge?
I’ve been identified as having leadership potential; am I ready to explore my fabulous potential?
Can people like me really lead? I’m a bit nervous and somewhat unsure. It would be good to chat about it.
I know my biggest challenge is me; I hear it’s called imposter syndrome. Can coaching help?
What feedback have I received from other people within my organisation?
Have I received any constructive criticism surrounding how I lead?
Am I transitioning to a new leadership role?
Do I need to enhance my leadership skills and capabilities?
Is there tension within my organisation?
Has my team experienced conflict?
Am I required to lead my team or organisation through certain challenges?
In answering these questions, you can begin deciphering what you need from a leadership coach.
For example, if you’re new to leadership or have been in it for a while and might be unsure about yourself, coaching helps you re-evaluate your perspective and develop greater conviction in your role as a leader.
By understanding behaviour, motivation, goals and objectives, your coach can help you develop a plan to lead your team to success. The expertise you develop will help you communicate effectively, better understand the team dynamics and the overall situation, and discover the most successful method of navigating it. This, in turn, will give you the confidence and insight you need to successfully lead your team through external challenges that may arise in the future.
Likewise, if you’ve received feedback from people within your organisation that suggests you aren’t perceived as a suitable leader for certain aspects, such as diversity, working with a leadership coach can support you in gaining insight into any gaps in your knowledge, skill, or behaviour.
Understand Your Organisational Needs
In addition to understanding your own needs, when it comes to finding a leadership coach, it’s helpful to understand what your organisation needs, especially if you are looking for a team leadership coach.
Team leadership coaching has been proven to enhance employee engagement and satisfaction, not to mention communication and conflict resolution. But working with an external team coach requires you to understand what your organisation needs support with. To understand this, it can be beneficial to consider the following:
When looking at the organisation as a whole, where are the challenges just now?
Which areas of the business would benefit from focused team coaching to pull them closer to their objectives quicker?
Are there certain people within the organisation that would benefit from one-to-one coaching?
Is there a particular team or department that requires coaching?
Does a newly created team need to hit the ground running?
Have I noticed changes in the dynamic of a specific team?
What is the cause of the changes within the team?
Answering these questions allows you to begin to break down the reason for coaching. For example, by exploring the causes of changes within the dynamic of teams, you may find that the whole team requires coaching to support conflict resolution. But you may also understand that the shift is due to the actions or behaviours of one individual, which could suggest that one-to-one coaching is required instead.
It’s important to note that although many organisations take advantage of team coaching when there are signs that the team is not working cohesively or is experiencing an issue, team coaching can be utilised at almost any time to maximise the potential of teams that work well together.
Determine The Coach’s Areas Of Expertise
With an understanding of your needs/the needs of your organisation, you’ll have more significant direction when finding a leadership coach.
As you begin to review websites, coach profiles, and coach services, determining a coach’s areas of expertise may be important to you. Although it’s essential to say that coaches are experts in coaching the person, it’s not about the topic. Nevertheless, there is certainly a growing trend in coach-mentor relationships and this demands that a coach also have expertise in an area in which the leader requires mentorship. Most coaches will often have several areas of expertise. These might include:
By reviewing the coach/mentor’s areas of expertise, you can establish whether they have the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to support you or your people effectively. It can sometimes be helpful to work with a coach who understands your needs from experience and can assist you in getting from where you currently are to where you want to be.
Review The Leadership Coach’s Qualifications and Professional Memberships
As you look for a leadership coach, reviewing qualifications and where these were achieved is important.
At The Leadership Coaches, our coaches have completed qualifications and are accredited by the following awarding bodies:
Association for Coaching
International Coaching Federation
Institute of Leadership and Management
Association for Coaching & European Mentoring & Coaching Council
Although an unregulated industry, Zoé, our Director of Coaching, has created a model based on what many would consider regulation to ensure only quality leadership coaches meet our high criteria. For example, all our coaches must maintain coaching supervision with an accredited coach supervisor. Executive references are personally checked by Zoé, and no pro bono references are accepted for this check.
Look At The Coach’s Testimonials
Most coaches will share insight into the work they’ve completed with you. They may also share case studies with you. Whilst this information can inform your decision on whether you work with a particular coach, reviewing testimonials is equally important.
Not only will reviewing client testimonials offer insight into how working with the coach has benefitted other people, but they’ll also provide information surrounding how long the individual worked with the coach, where they were when they started, how they felt after completing coaching, and whether they’d recommend the coach in question.
If the coach has no testimonials on their website or coach profile, don’t be afraid to ask for them. If you’re investing in a leadership coach, seeing what other people say about working with them is beneficial.
Arrange A Chemistry Call
The final step in finding a leadership coach is arranging a chemistry call with them. Often referred to as ‘discovery calls’, chemistry calls are no-obligation meetings that enable you to meet the coach for the first time – usually virtually or via telephone – and find out more about them.
Usually spanning 30 minutes, chemistry calls help you determine whether they are the right coach for you based on the following:
Their style - does it feel like a style you’d like to work with?
The language they use
Their body language
How you rate the rapport between you
The information they share with you
How passionate they seem
How you think and feel when you are talking with them about your objectives and challenges
In addition, you’ll also be able to ask any questions you might have about coaching or the coach. Whilst chemistry calls are available to help you understand whether the coach is right for you, they also support the coach in reviewing whether working with you is right for them. If the coach feels that they are not the best person to assist you, they’ll be honest about this.
At The Leadership Coaches, chemistry calls additionally:
Outline what coaching is
Review the goals and outcomes expected
Set out what is expected of the coach
Share what the coach expects of the client
When it comes to finding a leadership coach, there are many elements to consider. As shared above, reviewing the experience, testimonials, qualifications, and whether they are members of any awarding bodies will assist you. Finding the right coach and the right coaching company for you can be time-consuming, and you might not necessarily know exactly what you’re looking for. But that’s where we come in. At The Leadership Coaches, we have left no stone unturned when it comes to having the best leadership coaches ready to serve. From over 150 applications, we have just 20 of the best leadership coaches around, and we are confident with our 100% success record with coaching results, you'll be glad you chose us.
If you are looking for a leadership coach, look at our team of credible coaches or call us on 0800 345 7727.